Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Dear God, why?
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RPS Feature Hands on in Marrakesh
You can’t start a revolution in Hitman‘s Marrakesh episode, but Lord knows I have tried. Seeking to create the impression of a brutal state crackdown, I’ve dressed up as a soldier and opened fire on the crowd from a checkpoint. I’ve lugged cans of propane right across the map, dropped them near placard-waving civvies and blown everybody up with a silenced pistol. I’ve sucker-punched foreign officials, hurled bricks at marchers – done whatever I can to transform the level’s outpouring of public discontent into a full-blown civil war. And for my troubles I’ve been treated to an efficient, orderly death and the sight of a dozen, so-called leftwing firebrands cowering in terror as the army closes in. Honestly – is it any wonder you radicals are sweltering beneath capitalism’s golden hoof when one little blast cloud is too much to bear?
If Marrakesh isn’t quite the open world insurrection simulator I was rather unrealistically and very callously looking forward to, it’s an absolute playpen for fans of the game’s Contracts mode.
RPS Feature Diving deep into The Hobby
With the release of the new Warhammer Quest from Games Workshop – full name “Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower” – I thought it might be good to do a deeper exploration of what it is to go deep into a new Games Workshop game. Buying something like Warhammer Quest (isn’t it exciting that there’s a new Warhammer Quest?) is not the same as buying your average board game. First of all, it’s a bigger investment. Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower retails for 95 pounds. That’s not a game you buy on a whim – that’s a commitment. And with that commitment comes a lot of work. Because as any fool knows, Games Workshop products aren’t just about play. They’re about construction, and painting, and that’s why the whole Games Workshop thing – encapsulating Warhammer 40K, Age of Sigmar, and many more – is referred to as “The Hobby” by fans of the product.
The Hobby. If you want to play a new Games Workshop game, you’re going to have to dip into The Hobby. Come with.
RPS Feature The Mittani definitely thinks so.
A year ago the Imperium was seen as an absolute—a kind of immutable law of the universe in EVE Online [official site]. They were the biggest coalition backed by the richest players armed with the most cunning diplomatic team. Around their central alliance, the Goonswarm Federation (‘goons’), were staunch allies who would hold the line if anyone dared invade. Their capital in the region of Deklein was thought to be an impregnable fortress from which flags with little bees waved in the solar wind. That’s not what Deklein looks like today. Their home system, YA0-XJ, now has a new flag flying above it, and the Imperium’s list of allies seems to be growing shorter by the month.
RPS Feature Hands-on with the beta for the new State
I’ve rhapsodised in the past about American Truck Simulator [official site]’s many moments of zen, but I confess that I may be guilty of glossing over its many moments of hard, thankless work too. The Arizona DLC, a substantial free add-on due whose open beta is due for launch today, brings the expected dramatic scenery, but also increases some of that hard work – in interesting ways. Also, there is a canyon which I suspect one could safely describe as ‘grand.’
RPS Feature Hands on with Square's throwback RPG
Due on English-speaking shores this summer, Tokyo RPG Factory’s I Am Setsuna is a charming throwback experience with one of the bleakest storylines I’ve come across. It takes place in a kingdom beset by monsters – if that’s really the right word for the excitable penguins and shellfish you’ll battle early on – who must be periodically appeased with a human sacrifice. The titular Setsuna is next up for the chopping block, and your task as some random mercenary swordsman is to shepherd the poor girl to the site of her ordained demise – a job you land after failing to murder Setsuna at the request of a mysterious old guy in a forest.
It’s not your classic save-the-princess yarn, but during my playtime, it certainly feels like it. I Am Setsuna couldn’t be more of a homage to the genre’s glory days if it were distributed in tatty cardboard boxes and sold exclusively by rancid import shops in Manchester.
RPS Feature Sid vicious
The barbarians are at the gates. They’re not here to kick the gates down and storm the city though; instead, they retreat, in the direction of the camp that spawned them.
“You might want to send a warrior after those barbarian scouts,” Firaxis’ Pete Murray advises, watching the screen over my shoulder. “They’ll fetch a raiding party if they manage to get home.”
That’s new. It’s the tip of the iceberg as far as changes go, but it’s an illustrative example of what the early stages of this game are all about. Civilization VI [official site], at this stage of its development, is host to the most reactive AI that I can remember in the series’ long history. Lead designer Ed Beach and his team are building a Civ game that they hope will pry long-time players out of their established comfort zones, and a too-brief 60 turns with the game last week showed plenty of evidence that they’ll achieve that goal.